What to do?

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O.K.  What to do?  Problems: 

(1)  How to keep threads from descending into irrelevant banter.  By that I mean comments which are not pertinent to a particular thread. 

(2)  How to keep one individual from commandeering the comments? 

(3)  How to ensure that those who have been faithfully following and contributing to this site are not sidelined? 

(4)  How to ensure that the “Recent Comments” links – which are meant to direct readers to the comments on various articles of interest – does  not degenerate into a consistent stream of comments from one individual hogging the comments? 

 It’s a difficult situation.  New to me.  New to Sylvia’s Site. Until this week it was a non issue.  

I don’t want to start administering the comments again.  Nor do I want to revert to the days when those who blogged were required to log in with a user name and password.  I prefer allowing people to have their say in real time, and I prefer not to edit comments unless it is absolutely necessary. 

I think I can set things up to block people, and I will if I must, but I truly prefer not having to go that route.  I think we are all capable of a degree of self-control, suffice not to post one comment after the other after the other in such fashion that a thread is totally dominated by one individual, and often with information which has little or no relevance at all to the thread. 

Certainly there needs to be a degree of flexibility.  I have no problem with that.  But how to stop one person from dominating the blog and, in the process, driving others away? 

And now to the specifics… 

A number of people have expressed concerns to me privately over what has been happening on the blog over the past few days.  For whatever reason, Larry has been blogging like mad.  In short, his activity has not gone unnoticed.  It is frustrating me.  It is frustrating to many. Several persons are convinced he is intent on sabotaging the site.

I don’t know who Larry is.  I don’t know what brought him to Sylvia’s Site.  I don’t know what demons, if any, he is fighting.  I don’t know if he is lonely.  In short, I know nothing about Larry.  He may indeed be intent on sabotaging the site.  But, I just don’t know.  I therefore give him the benefit of the doubt.   I don’t want to hurt him.  However, I can not sit back and watch the site be sabotaged.   Whether he does so wilfully or inadvertently, that is in essence what Larry is doing.  I can’t let it continue.  There are too many victims out there who rely on the site for information and support to allow it to happen. 

I sent Larry an email yesterday expressing my concerns.  No answer.  After much thought I decided I had no choice but to raise the matter publicly.  

At this moment in time I see one possible solution. 

Barring exchanges of information on a breaking story it is rare that anyone posts more than four comments a day. In fact, most will post only once or twice.  

Therefore, to you Larry 

Larry, would you please restrict yourself to a maximum of four comments a day, and,  before hitting the submit button would please ensure you have said all you want to say.  

That said, I am open to suggestions from all as to how to deal with difficult situations such as this.  I don’t want to over-control participation.  How then to avoid reaching this point? And how to do so without hurting those who may already be in pain?

Enough for now,

 Sylvia

(cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

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13 Responses to What to do?

  1. Sorry I Can't Say says:

    Good morning Sylvia and good day to all,

    To offer my input: I have missed much of the recent problems but when I come to the site the two things I always check are the recent comments section and the latest posting from Sylvia. When I see the entire recent comments section referencing one topic, I find it a bit frustrating. Or when I see just two or three people commenting back and forth, I find that frustrating too.

    My feeling is if people want to have a “conversation”, that’s great but perhaps there could be another forum for it within or outside of the site. Maybe even a “chat room” – just an ‘off the top of my head’ thought.

    My other thought was that perhaps the Recent Comments section could show the topics most recently commented on instead of each comment. Rather than “dead” showing up 15 times with posts from Larry, Lina and Michael, “dead” would show up once as having a recent comment. The most recently commented subject listed first and on down the list.

    So if “dead” interested me I would go there and see ALL the recent comments for myself without it having to dominate the list. You see, I come here for information mostly and these strings of “chat” (as kind as they may be) do at times hinder the sharing and distribution of information in my opinion.

    We really don’t need to have listed as a “Recent Comment” something such as “How are you?” Recent comments should be “So and so has been charged” or “I was abused where should I go?” and so on. Yes expressions of opinions and even debate should still be here if they are contributing to the site’s purpose for all.

    Sylvia I think you should give this a bit longer to percolate and see if things straighten out on their own. And to all: this is being written on the fly as a first reaction. I hope it is beneficial but if not clearly thought through or a line or two offends that is not my intent. Life is too busy for me currently to spend much time and thought editing, pondering and debating this at the moment. Good luck to you all and my thanks as always to you Sylvia.

  2. Larry says:

    I think some peoples names should be shortened.For people like myself who are very slow at typing , it is much faster to address a response to a name like sylvia, Michel,or Lina.But a name like sorry I can’t say could perhaps be shortened to ” sorry “. No offence intended to anyone , just some input of my own while we are into giving thought to re: arranging things.

  3. Lina says:

    I for one am sorry for my part in this.

    I got a phone call from a lady last night asking me if I heard any news what is happening with Monsignor Robert(Bobby)Borne.

    There is little news in the Pembroke Daily Observer.

    I call her once over a month ago & it was her husband that answered. I was surprise what he told me. I just listen to him…he told me just like that that, he is a victim of clergy abuse.

    His was abuse by a priest when he was a boy. This happened down east in the New Brunswick area.

    I told him he was brave & I was happy for him to have reach out & seek professional help. He is going for help for years. He & his wife are strong Catholics. His wife is his #1 supporter & his grand kids keeps him going.

    He must have heard from his wife recently that I was molested when I was little girl & he wanted to share this painful topic we me. He came across to me still hurting a lot & still has issues to deal with. What I pick up while listening to him he is like on a roll a coaster ride…is back & forth. Like he loves the church then he doesn’t.

    Thank God he is still getting help.

    This Monsignor Robert Borne case must be bringing back bad memories. We ended the conversation by me saying I would keep him & all his family in prayer.

    Sylvia, when Larry started asking those questions to Fr. Tim Moyle now you know why I may have over reacted to Larry’s questions.

    Take-care! I will take a leave & stop posting here. I will keep you all in my prayers.

  4. 1yellowknife says:

    A voluntary restraint on daily number of postings (4) is a sound plan. Should work for all except the compulsive responders. Some time ago, I added one additional measure. I never respond to Larry. Ever.

  5. Larry says:

    Good thing your not a person to hold resenments .

  6. Reality Checker says:

    You are being extremely FAIR Sylvia – limit the # of postings/day otherwise you are definitely heading to sabotage.

  7. Myomy says:

    Let me concur with others this is a good and fair compromise Sylvia.

  8. OMG says:

    I see the depth of your problem Sylvia. For any person to expend 368 typed characters to bemoan his difficulty in typing the 17 character name “Sorry I Can’t Say” as opposed to a 5 character same of “Sorry” (which would be perfectly acceptable anyway) is surely a sign of some minor mental misfortune or simple deviousness.

    I won’t pretend to know which it is, but clearly you have a one-person problem on your hands Sylvia. I would assume there can be a one-person solution and I believe it is clearly required.

    The other thing that clearly is obvious is that there are two comments above which contribute nothing to your original post. Again, you have a one-person problem. Fix it and we can all move forward

  9. Sylvia says:

    Thank you all for your input. Much appreciated.

    I have had contact with Larry. As is so often the case, things are not always what they may seem at first blush. Larry is no ogre.

    I believe the matter is resolved and we can all move on.

  10. Lina says:

    Limit to 4 posting a day is good.

    My husband & I agreed that it would a good thing to limit my time on the computer about reading & posting on this clergy abuse stuff.

    I’m having heart problems. (I was in the hospital)
    I believe this abuse stuff about Monsignor Robert Borne is hitting me hard nevertheless, not has hard as it is for his victims.

    The Borne case in our Pembroke Diocese is the one that got to me. I need to take care of myself my poor hubby is worried about me.

    I will pray for all involved especially the victims.

    Thank you Sylvia for all you do!

    • Sylvia says:

      Good to hear from you Lina. Sorry to hear you were in hospital but glad you are out and about again. You take it easy. Don’t let them get to you like that.

  11. Lina says:

    Thanks Sylvia to Post #11.

    A priest should remain celibate but in this world, being human sometimes SOME priest sadly will break his celibacy vows (fall in temptation) with a consenting male adult or female adult.

    Just like SOME married Catholic couples may have had an affair. Break their marriage vows. Still many couples work things out while other couples call it quits.

    I remember listening to a conversation on My FM 104.9 radio last year. I just got the tail end of that conversation. An announcer & a guest were talking about a certain monsignor being diagnosed as a pedophile with homosexual tendencies.

    It’s was after that, I got thinking about the repercussions when it comes to breaking priestly vows.

    A priest may break his vows of celibacy with a consenting ADULT & is repentant & still can remain a good priest. I am talking about CONSENTING adults here. It is obvious a priest should not have sex period!
    A married couple should remain faithful to each other in their marriage. Not seek sex outside their marriage.

    Some priest may have had a consenting sexual relationship with another consenting ADULT priest. What I’m getting at is…what happens if a priest did break his celibacy vows with another priest at one time & ended that relationship. Then later on, this priest finds out that priest he had a sexual liaison with at one time in the past is now being investigated & is being accused of a crime of molesting & is charged & may be known now as a pedophile. That priest who is still serving as a Catholic priest must feel awful & scared to be link to this pedophile priest? Just because it was known way back he was very close to this known priest that perpetrated crimes against innocent children & youth this doesn’t mean he himself is a molester or even knew about this present day priest’s evil criminal actions.

    Many folks cannot tell the difference between a pedophile priest & a gay priest. I mean…just because a priest may have a homosexual/gay orientation doesn’t mean he is a molester & a pedophile. Nevertheless, the stigma attach to being gay is so strong & it does emit prejudice against priests who have this gay orientation even though he(they) is a good priest that happened to have given into temptation because his weakness of keeping his celibacy vows during a certain time in his life.

    This priest (or priests) may be in turmoil over their brother priest who is in deep trouble with the law. They must be wondering if this priest in trouble will say anything about his sexual liaisons with him or other priest(s). They just assume he was a gay person like them not a molester/pedophile!

    Just a personal comment of mine.

    Good Night!

  12. Lina says:

    A historic TV event.

    Oprah gathered 200 men from all over the US and Canada, each of them a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

    Tim Fischer (a survivor of clergy sexual abuse) would like to say this:

    “Pedophiles around the world: hear the ground swell of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who are fed up with your abuse and realize we are active and we are not going to put up with you any longer. ”

    More info about the program schedule if you are interested.

    http://www.timfischer1.com/Site/Blog/Entries/2010/10/28_About_Oprah_%26_Tyler.html#comment_layer

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